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Patrick Mackeown

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Member Since: Oct, 2006

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The Expendability Doctrine
by Patrick Mackeown   

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Category: 

Action/Thriller

Publisher:  BookScape ISBN-10:  0955432804 Type: 
Pages: 

184

Copyright:  Oct 12 2006
Fiction

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Synopsis

An oil conspiracy thriller with global dimensions. Intelligent, readable, and guaranteed to get the grey matter going.

In the midst of an international oil crisis, Keith Connors, a British industrialist is murdered. In accordance with procedures the police investigate his family and acquaintances. The professional nature of Keith's killing is never in doubt. However, when the victim's wife absconds, a pattern of sinister events unfolds.

The Expendability Doctrine races on a roller-coaster thrill ride across the globe - from the East Coast of Britain, to the horrors of deaths in Libyan gaols - in an extraordinary mixture of super suspense and authentic information on a subject of global concern.

Free Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Hilary Connors was surprised by just how easy killing somebody could be; like everything else in life, you just had to put your mind to it. She crossed a disused railway line tugging her cream-coloured, baby alpaca coat about her ankles. An East-Anglian sea breeze stung her face. She huddled, pulling her chinchilla collar close around her neck and blew into her hands. She couldn't feel her toes. Suddenly, there he was. He didn't look all that bad for a murderer, perhaps a bit slim, but he had a nice smile.

'You startled me,' she said.

'Force of habit,' he replied. 'People never hear me coming. I wouldn't live long if they did. Now, can we get on with it?'

'Right, yes, sorry,' she said blushing. 'What do you want me to do?'

'First the money: Five thousand now. You got it with you?'

She nodded.

'Then ten thousand: You wait till I contact you. Then a further five thousand. You never contact me, you can't. You pay what I say, how I say, when I say. Nothing happens till I get the money. Got any problems with that?'

She shook her head.

'Never be late. Don't even think about being late or missing a payment. If you make that mistake, you'll never make another. Are we understanding each other?'

She nodded.

'Photograph?'

She pulled the torn wedding photograph from her handbag. He smiled again, running his fingers down the jagged edge of the fragmented image.

'I like that,' he said nodding. 'Have you got a whole photo?'

She shook her head, 'it's the only one. I burned the others, all of them. I burned everything.'

'Where's the other half?'

'I don't know, I threw it away, I think.'

'Where?'

'I don't know, I don't know!'

'OK,' he said softly, 'it's OK.'

They sat for a minute in silence.

'You OK?'

She sniffed, 'yeah, never better.' She wiped her eyes with her wrist. After a few minutes she asked, 'what do I do now?'

'You go home and wait. You'll never see me again. Have you told anyone else about this?'

She shook her head.

'You're sure? No-one at all? Think carefully before you answer. If I have to come back and clean up after your mistakes, it'll mean killing everybody. Do you understand what I'm saying? I don't just mean him. I mean you and whoever it is you told about this.'

Hilary didn't respond. The gunman raised his voice slightly to jog her back to the matter in hand.

'You understand me, Mrs Connors?'

'Yes,' she whispered, 'yes, I understand, I told no-one, absolutely no-one.'

'If I hear my name mentioned anywhere, I'll know it came from you, do you understand what that means?'

She nodded.

'That's it then,' he said.

Hilary walked unsteadily back to her bicycle. She was determined not to look behind her, fearing that it might not be safe. For reasons she couldn't clarify, looking back towards a killer as he prepared his future strike felt more dangerous than sitting beside him while he studied her torn photograph of his next victim.

She hadn't realised how difficult it was to cycle, wearing a full-length coat. It hadn't been a problem earlier, nothing had. She had been concentrating so hard on not being terrified, that she hadn't noticed the journey at all. Every time she bent down to gather up the hem of her coat, her bicycle wobbled frantically. She longed to be at the wheel of her car.

All the silent roads and empty shopping centre car parks made her ache with desire for the return of normality. The recent sharp petrol price increases had driven many local shopkeepers out of businesses. People were going hungry. The local television news reports brought their stories to her attention before she could change the channel. All over the country petrol stations had run out of fuel. Hilary and all her friends had been reduced to cycling. She didn't really care whether petrol prices came down or not, just as long as she could drive her car and buy clothes.

As she veered towards the brightly lit windows of Liberty, the most expensive store on her route, her right, high-heeled shoe fell off. Breaking, turning and dismounting with only one shoe was difficult. Hilary hated bicycles.

Now her house was almost within walking distance. She dismounted and pushed the bicycle along the eerily deserted street.

In the driveway of her modern, detached house she ran her palm gently over the hood of her convertible Mercedes. She let the bicycle fall into her flowerbed and entered the house. Then, gathering her cat into her arms, Hilary sank into her sofa. She tipped the dregs from a heavy, dimpled-based whiskey tumbler into her kitchen sink, but did not bother to wash the glass. Her house had ice, but she was without the will-power to walk a few feet to her fridge. She measured two fingers into the glass and poured another healthy splash on top for good measure. The first two fingers of gin she knocked back with a single swig. She also measured her next two large mouthfuls. Beyond that, there seemed no point in measuring. The following morning she would have no recollection of drinking from the neck of the bottle. Eventually, when the time came to wake up, she would stagger towards the television, knocking letters and magazines from her occasional table onto the floor with the hem of her coat just as she had the morning before and the one before that. She was a terrible wreck and she knew it. Soon though, for that day at least, she'd be beyond caring.

She switched on her television. Suddenly a terrible fear gripped her. Perhaps she had been seen. Perhaps someone knew that she'd met with a murderer and reported her to the police. Hilary knew such fears were irrational. She knew perfectly well that no-one had seen her. The streets of her town were completely deserted. She drank more alcohol. Her hands were shaking. She turned on the news and tried to focus on her television screen.
Excerpt
Free Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Hilary Connors was surprised by just how easy killing somebody could be; like everything else in life, you just had to put your mind to it. She crossed a disused railway line tugging her cream-coloured, baby alpaca coat about her ankles. An East-Anglian sea breeze stung her face. She huddled, pulling her chinchilla collar close around her neck and blew into her hands. She couldn't feel her toes. Suddenly, there he was. He didn't look all that bad for a murderer, perhaps a bit slim, but he had a nice smile.

'You startled me,' she said.

'Force of habit,' he replied. 'People never hear me coming. I wouldn't live long if they did. Now, can we get on with it?'

'Right, yes, sorry,' she said blushing. 'What do you want me to do?'

'First the money: Five thousand now. You got it with you?'

She nodded.

'Then ten thousand: You wait till I contact you. Then a further five thousand. You never contact me, you can't. You pay what I say, how I say, when I say. Nothing happens till I get the money. Got any problems with that?'


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